The news about the verdict in the infamous Apple vs. Samsung trial has begun to settle in, and everybody is looking forward to the post trial phase. Let’s try to predict what can happen next for the two parties, and most importantly, how will their fight affect consumers.
In light of the court’s decision, and the points presented by both Apple and Samsung, what clearly comes to light is the role of patents in innovation, and the extent to which businesses can take liberties at existing intellectual property and work these to their own goals. We weigh in with our thoughts, with the focus of whether the verdict can result in better innovation for Android and the smartphone industry in the long run.
In a perfect world made by Samsung, the latest developments in the trial against Apple would never have happened. That is to say, the latest accusations by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) would be a non-issue. However, in the real world, Apple now figuratively has Samsung by the throat and is wringing the last signs of life from Sammy’s prospect of a hard-fought win.
The Samsung versus Apple legal war is almost over, at least in the California trial. Samsung has now rested its case, after letting us know just exactly how much they were seeking if they won their side of the infringement suite. While Apple is asking for a staggering 2.5 billion, Samsung’s claim is a bit smaller in comparison, though still very much a large sum at $421.8 million.
As things wrap up, Judge Lucy Koh insisted that both company’s CEOs meet one last time in attempts to reach a settlement outside of the court. Koh says that see doesn’t want to waste either company’s time, but feels that both sides are in possible danger. As such, an outside agreement might be the best solution. Apple and Samsung have agreed to the meeting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can come to any type of agreement.
The newest move on Samsung’s part is to bring in testimony from Roger Fidler, the head of the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. Fidler says that he actually began working on a tablet design in 1981, and that Apple had exposure to his ideas and prototypes during the mid-1990s. He added that he was working on a device that would work with just a touchscreen, without the need for a stylus. He even had a working model back in 1994.
Going … going … gone? Not yet, it seems. Eastman Kodak has decided to extend its patent auction to give more time for the company to decide on bids. Whichever company will successfully acquire the patents will find itself a valuable asset, with intellectual property increasingly becoming strategic in terms of profitability.
Patent experts and industry observers would usually say that the current patent situation in the U.S. may be stifling to innovation. With patent lawsuits flying across borders, corporations and brands, do current patent laws encourage innovation, or has the fear of litigation caused companies to design “ugly hacks” just to avoid lawsuits?
Apple is engaged in a number of lawsuits and countersuits with Android device manufacturers, but so far there has been no direct clash with Google. Is Google helping its partners behind the scenes?
Even before Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its product designs, the Cupertino, CA company said it had offered cross-licensing agreements with Samsung to the tune of $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet in 2010, or a total of $250 million that year, including cross-licensing discounts.